Star Power Reigns at Barack Obama’s ‘We Are One’ Concert

Barack Obama won’t officially become the 44th President of the United States until Tuesday, but that didn’t stop a galaxy of stars from celebrating the changing of the guard on Sunday at the Lincoln Memorial for the We Are One concert in Washington, DC, on Sunday, reports.

Actor Denzel Washington opened the festivities with a speech imploring the crowd to remember the event’s theme of unity, while Tom Hanks paid tribute to Abraham Lincoln.

But it was the music that was the true stand-out of the gathering.

Bruce Springsteen riled up the crowd with a performance of his post-9/11 anthem “The Rising.” Springsteen was the first in a long procession of musical talents to perform for Obama, 47. Mary J. Blige belted out an impassioned rendition of “Lean on Me,” followed by Jon Bon Jovi dueting with Bettye LaVette on the Sam Cook classic “A Change Is Gonna Come.” John Mellencamp performed his hit “Ain’t That America,” while Sheryl Crow and the Black Eyed collaborated on Bob Marley’s “One Love.”

Usher, Shakira and Stevie Wonder came together to deliver a performance of Wonder’s  “Higher Ground,”‘ while U2 cranked out “Pride (In the Name of Love)” and “City of Blinding Lights.”

The Dublin quartet was followed by Obama himself, who discussed the challenges that the nation faces and the legacies of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and Lincoln.

Country singer Garth Brooks and Beyonce Knowles, who’ll be singing during the first dance for President-elect Obama and his wife Michelle at his inaugural ball on Tuesday, also performed.